Foreign Buyers in Spain

For decades, Spain has been one of the most desirable areas for foreigners to relocate to and buy second homes. Whether this be owing to the country’s alluring relaxed lifestyle, its culinary diversity or simply the year-round sunshine, one thing that is for certain is that the number of expatriates moving to the country is growing year on year and causing the property market to soar Naturally, both the hot climate and stunning beaches stretching for hundreds of kilometres along the coastline continue to be the influencing factors enticing people to the peninsula, and it, therefore, no surprise that the most popular places to buy are those on the seafront. Price also becomes an influencing factor when deciding where to buy in Spain, and for that reason, it is understandable that by far the most popular city to buy a holiday home in is Alicante, with 5,172 transactions made there last year. This is more than double the number of successful transactions made in Malaga; the second most popular destination for foreigners to buy with 2,534 transactions. Madrid, Barcelona and the Balearic Islands follow precedent with 1,909, 1,709 and 1,638 sales respectively. When considering the laid-back lifestyle that these internationals are buying into, it comes as no surprise that the average age to buy a home in Spain is for those reaching retirement age. Looking at the most popular foreign buyers, the typical British profile when moving to Spain is for 55. The most recent data from the Ministerio de Fomento shows that 16.3% of all sales in Spain are made to foreigners, and the British continue to dominate this foreign market in Spain with a total of 14.2% of all foreign purchases being made by them. That said, the largest percentage of buyers still comes from countries outside of the EU collectively, such as China, the United States, Russia and Morocco to 64-year-olds (closely followed by 45 to 54-year-olds) who are looking to buy on the coast and for personal use as opposed to investment. Statistics have shown that 75% of this group buy without a mortgage although the number of mortgages taken out has been increasing rapidly since Brexit. Last year in 2017, the record was set for the most properties ever bought by foreigners in Spain with over 60,800 transactions completed in just the one year, thus topping the pre-recession figure. Although British buyers have taken a dip in the last two years, other nationalities such as the Germans, French and Belgians have compensated for this reduction to continue the steady growth of the international property market in Spain. There is no doubt, therefore, that whatever the outcome of Brexit – or indeed any other political situation outside of Spain – that the country’s ongoing calescent climate, beautiful beaches, and captivating culture will continue to draw in more expatriates year on year.

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